Thursday, June 17, 2010

State Acquires 469 Acres of Conservation Land in Dawson County

Governor Sonny Perdue announced June 16 the acquisition of 469 acres of prime conservation land in Dawson County, which includes two miles of the Amicalola Creek and its tributaries, by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Georgia Land Conservation Program (GLCP).  Long a conservation priority for the state, the 469-acre tract is a critical connection between two previously separate tracts of the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  The property protects a vital segment of Amicalola Creek that supports at least 27 native fish species, three of which are endangered.  All three tracts together protect more than 15,000 acres.

“Permanently protecting Georgia’s land resources is one of the most visible examples of our state’s culture of conservation,” said Governor Perdue.  “Acquiring this property at the heart of the Dawson Forest links together more than 15,000 acres of conservation land.  Thanks to the partnership of public and private organizations, this stretch of Amicalola Creek and the many species of wildlife it supports will be preserved for generations to come.”

The Nature Conservancy in Georgia acquired the Amicalola Creek property from the Forestar Real Estate Group in 2008 at a reduced price and held it until the state could arrange funding.   The Nature Conservancy contributed $2.15 million through a discounted sale of the property to the state.  Contributions from a variety of other public and private partners – the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, the Robert H. Dobbs, Jr. Foundation, the Mountain Conservation Trust, the Lyndhurst Foundation, Trout Unlimited, the DNR, the GLCP and anonymous private donors – helping the state purchase the property.

“The state of Georgia is thrilled to acquire and manage this important piece of conservation land in North Georgia,” said DNR Commissioner Chris Clark.  “More than 80 percent of the funds needed to purchase the land were contributed by our private and federal partners.  Without their generous support, the permanent protection of this property would not have been possible.”

“The Nature Conservancy is committed to protecting Georgia’s most treasured landscapes,” said Shelly Lakly, the Conservancy’s state director in Georgia. “The opportunity to safeguard these acres could not be ignored, so we made the decision to act and contribute to the final funding.”

Governor Perdue also announced that 63 land conservation income tax credits were awarded to generous Georgia landowners for land donations that conserved 38,660 acres in tax year 2009.  In addition to direct land purchases, DNR and the GLCP offer land conservation state income tax credits of up to $1 million for land donations and conservation easements on land.  More than 200 tax credits have been awarded and more than 70,000 acres permanently conserved in Georgia since 2006 when the credit was established.

Since 2005 the GLCP has conserved more than 171,000 total acres.  For more information on Georgia Land Conservation Income Tax Credits, please contact the DNR at (770) 761-3043 or the GLCP at (404) 584-1101.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

No comments: